Kevin Lee was successful in his Eagle FC debut on Friday night, defeating fellow former UFC fighter Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision. The win saw Lee battle past an early injury, using his striking to win rounds over Sanchez.
The fight headlined Eagle FC 46, which took place at the FLXcast Arena in Miami, Florida, USA.
The boxing skills of Lee allowed him to press forward on Sanchez throughout the three-round contest. He nearly finished the fight at times, dropping Sanchez with shots and landing with ground and pound.
Lee was hurt early in the fight due to leg kicks that Sanchez scored on him. The movement of Lee was visibly altered due to these shots, and he admitted after the fight that he thought an injury occurred.
Lee was fighting for the first time since suddenly was released by the UFC in late 2021. He was a high-level lightweight for the promotion, having headlined six cards.
Sanchez was also making his first appearance following a UFC departure. He abruptly was cut from the UFC last year after his attorney declined to comment on the state of Sanchez’s health during a conversation with the promotion, causing great concern on their side.
Sanchez was on the UFC roster for more than a decade and is best known for winning the first-ever season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
After his loss on Friday night, Sanchez mentioned his plan to continue fighting in Eagle FC, where he claims he has two more fights on his contract.
Heavyweight Champ Kuniev Stops Hamilton Early
Eagle FC Heavyweight Champion Rizvan Kuniev had a quick win in Friday night’s co-main event. He beat former UFC fighter Anthony Hamilton, submitting him in the second minute via guillotine choke.
Kuniev connected with hard strikes in the opening minute, hurting Hamilton with knees to the head.
Hamilton attempted a single leg takedown, although a guillotine choke attempt from Kuniev on the feet during this action caught him and put an end to their fight.
Kuniev now has an impressive 10-fight winning streak. He appeared on the most recent season of “Dana White’s Contender Series” and picked up a stoppage win, although he was not offered a UFC contract in the end.
Hamilton lost his previous fight in Eagle FC as well, getting beat by Vladimir Dayneko last year.
Borg Prevails Over Bandejas In War
Ray Borg had a paper-thin split decision win over Ricky Bandejas, scoring the victory after a fast-paced striking battle.
Borg engaged with Bandejas on the feet in a back-and-forth striking exchanges. The taller Bandejas would press forward with shots, but Borg would return on the backfoot.
The matchup also saw both fighters gain control on the ground.
Borg started to suffer rough swelling around his left eye in the second round. His eye was swollen completely shut by the end of the fight.
Borg had a hard brawl in his previous Eagle FC fight as well, defeating Cody Gibson in January.
Bandejas, a former Bellator fighter, was riding the momentum of a decision win that he scored on a Combate Global card late last year.
PFL Alum Ferreira Defeats Juusola
Handesson Ferreria picked up a decision victory on Friday night, defeating Zach Juusola via unanimous decision after three rounds.
Ferreira was the more aggressive striker throughout, coming forward with more shots and landing frequently. Juusola also landed at times but never had a clear lead at any point during the fight.
Ferreira, a former PFL fighter, is now on a four-fight winning streak. The three previous wins in his current run came from 2021 alone, where he scored a first-round knockout and two decision wins.
Juusola has dropped two consecutive bouts. The LFA vet was finished in his previous fight by Armus Guyton.
Magomedaliev Takes Close Split Decision Over Former UFC Fighter Kasanganay
Raimond Magomedaliev spoiled the return of former UFC fighter Impa Kasanganay, earning a close split decision win after a back-and-forth fight.
Magomedaliev and Kasanganay jostled for control throughout their three rounds of action. Both fighters scored takedowns and fought to take control on the ground.
Kasanganay was making his first appearance after a four-fight UFC run that came to an abrupt end last year. Despite attaining an even record of two wins and two losses in the promotion, it was reported last year that he parted ways with them. His last fight was a first-round finish loss to Carlston Harris last year.
Magomedaliev, a former ONE Championship fighter, is now on a five-fight winning streak. He won his Eagle FC debut in January, scoring a first-round finish win over Anthony Njokuani.
The Rest of the Card
Brave CF veteran Ikram Aliskerov won his Eagle FC debut on the undercard, fighting three rounds against Nah-shon Burrell for a unanimous decision victory.
Irwin Rivera scored a finish win in his return, stopping Firdvas Khasanov in the second round with strikes. Rivera, a former UFC fighter, was making his first appearance after facing an attempted murder case last year. He was later granted release from custody last year after a doctor testified in court that he was “suffering from an acute episode of psychosis” during the alleged incident. Rivera had an emotional post-fight interview, being blunt and passionate about his battle over the past year.
Undefeated prospect Archie Colgan used a mix of wrestling and striking to score a unanimous decision win over Dylan Mantello, prevailing in what turned into a bloody fight late.
It was announced during the prelims that a fight between Reggie Pena and Ronny Markes was withdrawn from the card due to “circumstances out of the control of Eagle FC.” Not only that but it was also announced on the promotion’s Twitter that a fight between Akhmed Aliev and Darrell Horcher was also removed from the card.
Tyler Ray had a one-sided win against Thomas Webb, nearing finishing the fight at times. After three rounds, Ray settled with a unanimous decision victory.
Sitik Muduev returned to the win column on Friday, putting together a dominant and bloody performance over Caio Uruguai for a decision win.
“The Ultimate Fighter” alum Ryder Newman prevailed in a striking battle against Manny Walo, defeating him via split decision in the end.
Main Card (6:00PM EST) (GoFLX)
Bout 11: Kevin Lee def. Diego Sanchez via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Rizvan Kuniev def. Anthony Hamilton via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 1, 1:17) (Eagle FC Heavyweight Championship)
Bout 9: Ray Borg def. Ricky Bandejas via Decision, Split
Bout 8: Handesson Ferreira def. Zach Juusola via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Raimond Magomedaliev def. Impa Kasanganay via Decision, Split
Bout 6: Ikram Aliskerov def. Nah-shon Burrell via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 5: Irwin Rivera def. Firdavs Khasanov via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:48)
Bout 4: Archie Colgan def. Dylan Mantello via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Tyler Ray def. Thomas Webb via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Sitik Muduev def. Caio Uruguai via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 1: Ryder Newman def. Manny Walo via Decision, Split